Jabulani, the official ball of the World Cup, seems to be the focal point of the tournament so far. The $150, eight-paneled synthetic ball is thermally bonded together, rather than being stitched, as traditional footballs are. And this is how it is made, in a factory in China:
Although Jabulani's maker, Adidas, promised more goals than normal, there have been just 20 back-of-the-net opportunities in the first 12 games, compared to 28 in Euro 2008, and 30 in the 2006 World Cup. And a lot of anguished football fans are blaming the ball, because of strikes like this, and howlers like that.